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Emergency workers issue space heater reminder - KOAM TV 7

Emergency workers issue space heater reminder

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Some fires in Missouri have prompted emergency workers to issue a reminder about space heaters.  Space heaters are believed to have caused at least eight deaths this month from fires across the state, including ones in St. Louis and St. Mary.

Joplin firefighters say usually they see about two to three fires a year caused by space heaters.  There have been none so far this year in Joplin, and local firefighters say they want to keep it that way.

"Not all space heaters are bad," says Joplin Fire Chief Jim Furgerson.  "There are some older ones that I might not recommend using all the time.  Because newer space heaters out there have an anti-tip device.  If they fall over, they automatically shut off.  That's just an added safety feature."

"Maintain a three foot distance from any type of combustible, whether it's clothes, trash, furniture, kids, anything.  Maintain that three foot distance.  Also, if you're using extension cords, don't use the cheap ones," says Furgerson.

Firefighters say make sure extension cords can handle the space heater's power wattage.  Also, turn off space heaters when leaving the room.

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